Maningrida

Njabulanj Helen Williams, a Kunibídji woman of the Wurnal clan, lived most of her life in Maningrida, about 500 kilometres east of Darwin in Arnhem Land.

She was born in 1956 on Mardbalk (Goulburn Island). Her father, a pastor, relocated from Goulburn Island to Maningrida when the Japanese threatened to invade during World War II. As a child, she travelled back and forth in a dugout canoe, “Ibidjbat”, on the Liverpool River between Maningrida and the surrounding coastal homelands.

Alice Pearl Daiguma Eather, a young Aboriginal community leader, activist and teacher, died aged 28 in the Aboriginal township of Maningrida, Northern Territory on June 4. Speakers at her funeral and wake summed up Alice as having “a beautiful spirit, a remarkable life”.

Alice was a bilingual primary school teacher and slam poet as well as an activist against coal seam gas (CSG) mining. More than 500 family, friends, supporters and members of the Maningrida community attended Alice’s funeral at Mount Gravatt in Brisbane and more attended her wake in West End.

Aboriginal traditional owners and the Protect Arnhem Land community campaign, based in the town of Maningrida, Northern Territory, are seeking the assistance of environment groups and Indigenous networks in Sydney to help raise awareness of the threat to Arnhem Land from oil and gas exploration.

Five traditional owners are travelling from Maningrida to Sydney in mid-July and are holding a public protest in Martin Place outside the offices of exploration company Paltar Petroleum.

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